I am very lucky to be a food blogger in such a foodie-friendly town. I am also very lucky that I know people who plan really fun events, where restaurants feed us their best dishes and try to impress us.*
*For reasons I still cannot understand. Have these people read the craziness that is this blog? Do they know how not cool I am?^
^The fact that I prefer “not cool” to “uncool” just serves to hit this point home.But ask me to come eat, and I will come eat. Very, very happily.Last night was the soft opening of lavacaTEPPAN, whose name is derived from the same “teppan” (iron plate) cooking style of other North American “Japanese steakhouses,” but whose focused, simple, and seasonal menu aims to distinguish it from the rest.
It also boasts an incredibly modern design, from Austin architect Jamie Chioco, whose creativity can be felt immediately, from the minimalist interior to the bento box wall shielding the kitchen. [No photograph of that...but trust me, it was awesome.]From the minute I noticed that the chopsticks were set on peanuts (?!?!), my childlike heart was happy.*
*It also helped that I was given Diet Coke.
The five courses (including one called “nibbles”) kept my (childlike?) stomach happy.
or that i did, in fact, just eat that by itself at one point?]
Me: “Can you offer me both?”
[Yep. I did.]
[This soup was my favorite thing I ate. I did, at more than one point, try to subtly (or not so subtly) request and entire serving bowl of it be brought to me.]house salad with sweet ginger dressing
grilled tofu with fried rice and vegetables
japanese fried chicken and eggs over steamed rice
As we were served family style, I took this moment to reveal the plating abilities I have acquired from extensive hours watching Top Chef.
*Padma would be proud.^
^Although we know I really just want to impress Tom. After such a savory meal……it was only appropriate to be rewarded with something sweet.
Soft serve* with a chocolate mint wafer cookie might not be the most traditional Japanese dessert…but y’all know how I feel about frozen custard-like treats. [If you don't...it's very, very good.]
*Yes, I did ask for the “swirl” served “side by side and not together.” Don’t hate.